Image c/o Frank Fimmano
A no-haiku review. Sorry, folks.
Steve Mason, who is rocking more back-to-backs than a human centipede, showed up strong once again in net. Mason’s solid play, coupled with solid power play efforts in the second period kept the Flyers two points ahead of the Detroit Red Wings in the playoff hunt.
The first period started slow with plenty of turnovers from the Flyers. The team then came back with a strong back half of the period. My kids began two-straight hours of asking me questions like, “What if, umm, the Flyers had ten players on the ice and the other team only had one?” The CSN crew suggested that Andrew MacDonald was quietly having a strong season and is an important part of the team.
The turnovers continued in the second but Wayne Simmonds and Sean Couturier got the party started by roofing pucks on the power play to put the Flyers up 2-0. Simmonds goal was his 27th of the season, inching him closer to the 30 goal mark for the first time in his career.
Between the goals, Nick Cousins was penalized for taking a shot to the noggin from the favorite player of referees everywhere, Dennis Wideman. With two minutes left in the period, Chris Neil was given a 10-minute misconduct. Seconds later, Mika Zibanejad scored to put the Senators on the board because, let’s be honest, any team is better without Chris Neil.
Meanwhile, the Flyers kept their penalties to a minimum and that has been a key difference between their surge this season and faltering in recent years.
The third period, brought to you by GMC and Cure auto insurance, featured the slick move of Claude Giroux tossing his stick in an attempt to knock the puck off a Senators stick while he slid up the ice. The effort was both futile and unpenalized.
The Flyers benefited from a fourth power play roughly seven minutes into the second when Simmonds scored his second of the night and 28th of the season, putting the team up 3-1. Roughly twelve minutes into third, Neil and Radko Gudas engaged in an unremarkable tussle, resulting in a power play for Ottawa and a power play goal for Mike (not Jack) Hoffman. The goal deflected off of the stick of Mark Streit.
With a tight lead and three minutes remaining, the Flyers tightened up their game and got more defensive than Donald Trump after a Megyn Kelly comment. They successfully tied up the puck along the boards multiple times to kill off the clock, eliciting cheers from the fans and resulting in a 3-2 win.
The broadcasting crew earned the fearless play of the game for barely making “Cherry Hill native” references to Robert Shane Stevenson.
The Flyers play the Pittsburgh Penguins tomorrow night at 5:00 p.m. because that’s a normal time to play hockey. Or, if you’d prefer, let’s LOL about how the Penguins got bumped for the Pirates.